One of my recent goals since moving to Chiang Mai over a month ago has been to visit more of the attractions around town. My first few weeks here were spent lounging around and seeking out new restaurants without doing much in terms of sightseeing. However, this past week that finally changed and I set off in search of Wat Sri Suphan.
Located just outside of the walled city near the southwest corner of the moat, Wat Sri Suphan is nicknamed the Silver Temple (not to be confused with the White Temple which is located in Chiang Rai).
Considering the temple sits on a small side street just off of Wualai Road (which is where the Saturday Night Market takes place), a district known for its silver making workshops, it’s not all that surprising to discover it is clad in silver; but I have to admit, even after four months of temple hopping around Southeast Asia, this temple was far more impressive than I expected it to be.
The amount of detail on each of the panels along the exterior of the temple is quite the feat. These panels depict scenes of elephants roaming the jungle, elaborate clouds hanging over stupas, and key moments from Buddha’s life.
Think of how many hours it must have taken the metalworkers, many of them monks from this very temple, to complete just one panel!
Another thing that surprised me was discovering that not every building within this temple complex is silver. There are various structures within the temple grounds, many of these painted in hues of crimson, metallic blue, and gold.
Much like with the silver detailing in the main temple, the intricate woodwork on the other structures is something to marvel at, plus the small glass mosaics add a nice bit of sparkle.
If you’re looking to make your visit to the Silver Temple a bit more special, you may want to consider visiting on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday between the hours of 5:30-7:00pm when the temple holds a ‘Monk Chat’. These programs are very popular in temples across Chiang Mai, and they allow visitors the opportunity to sit down with a monk and spend some time chatting in English.
This temple is just one of the many gems hidden within my very own neighbourhood, so I can’t wait to see what else I can find.